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Nexus 5 vs Galaxy S4 specs comparison

We compare the two Android rivals head to head on paper
Thu Oct 31 2013, 18:09

HARDWARE DESIGNER Google took the wraps off its next flagship Nexus 5 smartphone on Thursday, hoping that its high-end specifications and mid-range price will make it competitive against the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Google clearly is looking to attract dedicated fans of the Android platform too, as the Nexus 5 will be the first device to run its Android 4.4 Kitkat mobile operating system, and will also be among the first to receive future iterations of Android. It also, unlike the Samsung Galaxy S4, features a vanilla Android user interface.

Measurements and weight
Google Nexus 5: 138x69x8.6mm, 130g
Samsung Galaxy S4: 137x70x7.9mm, 130g

The Google Nexus 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 are nearly identical in size, with both phones weighing 130g and boasting almost the same dimensions. The Nexus 5 is slightly chunkier, however, measuring 8.6mm thick, compared to the Galaxy S4's svelte 7.9mm profile.

Google Nexus 5 with Android 4.4 Kitkat press shot

Google Nexus 5: 5in full HD 1920x1080 IPS 445ppi display
Samsung Galaxy S4: 5in full HD 1920x1080 Super AMOLED 441ppi display

Not only are the Google Nexus 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 nearly identical in size and shape, the two rival smartphones also have very similar displays.

Both sport full HD 1080p resolution. While we're yet to size up the the screen on Google's latest flagship phone, it very slightly pips the Galaxy S4 in pixel density, but might fall short in vibrancy due to its lack of AMOLED screen technology.

Google Nexus 5: Quad-core 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor
Samsung Galaxy S4: Quad-core 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor

The Google Nexus 5 beats the Samsung Galaxy S4 in processing power, on paper at least. While both handsets have Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, the Nexus 5 chip is clocked at 2.26GHz compared to 1.9GHz on the Galaxy S4, and is likely to offer an even smoother experience.

Google Nexus 5: 17 hours' talk time on 3G quoted by Carphone Warehouse, 2,300mAh battery
Samsung Galaxy S4: 17 hours' talk time on 3G, 2,600mAh

Despite having a smaller 2,600mAh battery, the Google Nexus 5 matches the Samsung Galaxy S4 in battery life, with both phones promising up to 17 of hours talk time on 3G. We are, of course, yet to put Google's claims to the test.

Samsung Galaxy S4 comes in White and Black

Google Nexus 5: Android 4.4 Kitkat mobile operating system
Samsung Galaxy S4: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean mobile operating system

For fans of the Android mobile operating system, the Google Nexus 5 trumps the Galaxy S4, with the handset running Google's recently unveiled Android 4.4 Kitkat release. The Samsung Galaxy S4, on the other hand, ships with Google's Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean release, and can be upgraded to the Android 4.3 and possibly also Android 4.4 release.

Google's Nexus 5 also features a completely vanilla user interface, as opposed to Samsung's custom Touchwiz user interface.

Google Nexus 5: 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
Samsung Galaxy S4: 13MP rear camera, 2MP front camera

The cameras on the Google Nexus 5 don't quite match those on the Samsung Galaxy S4, with the Nexus handset having an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 1.3MP camera on the front. Unlike the Galaxy S4, however, the Nexus 5 camera comes with optical image stabilsation, which is likely to make for sharper images.

Google Nexus 5 with Android 4.4

Google Nexus 5: 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM
Samsung Galaxy S4: 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, microSD card slot for expansion up to 64GB, 2GB of RAM

The Nexus 5 will be made available only in 16GB and 32GB models, compared to the Galaxy S4 that is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage models. The Samsung Galaxy S4 also comes with a microSD card slot allowing users to expand the phone's memory, whereas the Nexus 5 does not. However, given the difference in the smartphones' prices, this was likely a cost cutting measure.

Although the Google Nexus 5 doesn't quite match the Galaxy S4 cameras and storage, it matches the flagship Samsung handset in nearly every other category, be it size, display or battery life. It also has a faster processor, and gets one up on the rival handset as it's the first smartphone to ship with the Android 4.4 Kitkat mobile operating system.

Since Google's Nexus 5 smartphone is over £200 less expensive than the Galaxy S4, it looks like Samsung should start worrying. µ


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